Bonding with Bond, Day 17: The Living Daylights


Community Manager RT-Ryan has never seen a single James Bond film, except for 2006's Casino Royale. To rectify the situation, he decides to watch every Bond film and write about his reaction as a 007 novice. The Living Daylights is the first Bond film to feature Timothy Dalton in the role. Ryan felt his portrayal was very different from those of the previous actors. Read on to see exactly how. Back to Article


Sean B.

Sean B

You were correct. Licence to Kill was initially R rated but then had some scenes trimmed to get the PG13 rating. All of those scenes were restored in the 2006 dvd. IMDB actually has some cool trivia for each movie.

Nov 7 - 08:49 AM

Timothy Michael Makepeace

Tim Makepeace

Sounds like '90s revisionist to me. Dalton was always Cubby Broccoli's first choice, not Brosnan as many want to suggest. The only reason Dalton did two films was because he quit after the long hiatus with MGM and EON going through a legal battle that prevented them from making films. I don't understand the comment on him "not having fun" because from what I saw he looked pretty damn enthusiastic in the role and that's no surprise given that he's actually a aficionado of the Ian Fleming novels, hence why he portrayed Bond straight from the books.

Nov 7 - 09:06 AM


Chris Kubat

I enjoy Goldeneye as well. It's my favorite from Brosnan. But let's not overhype it for Ryan. Although it's a good movie, it's not a masterpiece by any means.

Nov 7 - 09:26 AM


Colin Schmied

The problem with Dalton is that he wears his emotions on his sleave. As Ryan pointed it's all there in front of you. Bond is supposed to have a certain mystery about him. This is why people did not care for him as Bond. This is also why Craig has done such good job so far. He presents himself as one thing while keeping his real feelings simmering just below the surface. You're not entirely certain whats coming. Dalton just let it all hang out which ends up being dull.

Also I do not get the love for Goldeneye. I thought it was a completely paint by numbers Bond. Did Brosnan have a line in the movie that wasn't a one-liner? Please someone enlighten me as to what I apparently missed.

Nov 7 - 09:56 AM

Raheem M.

Raheem Miah

Ryan, I just watched every official Bond film two months ago (I will watch the unofficial ones next week). It's great to see someone else taking this journey of suave self-discovery. When I came upon The Living Daylights, it was a breath of fresh air from the stagnant entries of the last Roger Moore ones. Dalton has a rugged handsomeness and attention to the role that you will be blown away by what he does with it in Licence to Kill.

That said, I also bought the entire Bond collection for $100. Seems pricey, but I got it brand new off Amazon for $150 less than its original price. If you ever come across the Ultimate Edition DVDs, check out the extras. They show the amazing people and tribulations that have sculpted the Bond films.

[nobody does it better]

Nov 7 - 10:09 AM


Jeremiah Rancourt

I guess we have a spectrum of Bond performances, depending on if you prefer cheeky, suave or brutal, straight-laced. My spectrum goes as follows:

straight middle suave
Dalton Craig Connery Brosnan Moore

I always saw the franchise as erring on the sophisticated, fun side versus the tough, no-nonsense angle. That may have been why I was disappointed in the new version of Bond in Casino Royale, b/c he was unlike what audiences expect from 007 other than those bleak Dalton years (only 2 films compared to 15 or so w/ the more suave Connery, Brosnan or Moore).

The producers can bring Craig's performance back to find a balance like Connery did, but he's not there yet after Casino and likely won't get there in Solace. Dalton is even more stiff as Bond, though he is the closest thing to Craig the Bond franchise has tried before.

Nov 7 - 10:41 AM


Mike PArker

How can it be revisionist to review a film today...having never seen it...and to say you enjoy it? Ryan never watched it before, so how about letting him have his opinion?

Its only revisionist if you personally hated it when it came out and then decide you like it later...although that could also be a matter of taste changing. I for one, liked Dalton when he was new and still do mind changing here.

I will admit to being disappointed Brosnan couldn't come on board earlier, but Dalton took most of that disappointment away (that and I would have missed him as Steele, so everything worked out).

Nov 7 - 11:09 AM


Ryan Fujitani

I think there is something to be said about understanding these films within the context of their eras, and I can certainly appreciate that. That is one of the drawbacks to doing a series like this, where I'm deliberately avoiding said context in order (1) to be as unbiased and untainted in my opinions as possible, and (2) to focus on the films based on their individual merits. This is not to say I'm ignoring where each of these films fit into the canon as whole, but in some ways, I'm developing my own perception of what exactly defines the canon as whole, so my opinions are most likely very different than what they would have been, had I seen these movies when they were released.

I think we at RT also believed it would be interesting for die hard Bond fans to see the perspective of someone whose viewing experience was completely different from theirs, and maybe spark some discussion based on those experiences. It seems we've succeeded on that front, at least.

I'm glad those of you who have been reading along have mostly been enjoying these. As I've been telling friends (who I've seen all of three times in the past two and a half weeks), although it's been somewhat tiring, I don't regret taking this on at all, and it's been wonderful to be introduced to this whole new world. Great stuff.

Nov 7 - 11:21 AM

drew g.

drew gordon

Tim Dalton was a breath of fresh air. License to Kill is one of my favorites too...a bit draggy in the middle, however. It also give Q an expanded role which I greatly enjoyed.

My problem was that once Remington Steele was canceled, the powers to be forgot all about Dalton, which to my mind was a mistake.

Pierce Brosnan's take on the role was, to my mind, a return to the campy old days...supervillians taking over the world, cheap one liners, dumb, obvious CGI stunts. And with Die Another Day, the Brosnan Bond franchise brings us the second most vapid Bond heroine in history...Dr. Christmas Jones....which helped old Pierce Jump the Shark in the lead lined fridge...for sure.

However, Goldeneye does have FAMKE!!!! Which makes up for a multitude of sins!!!!

Nov 7 - 02:24 PM

Darren Smith

Darren Smith

christmas was in world is not enough

Nov 11 - 04:28 PM

Dave J

Dave J

In response of watching Bond movies in order for the first time is slightly flawed because according to Rottentomatoes website, besides the 1967 version and the 2006 version, another Casino Royale was made in 1954 with Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress (who also starred in Dr. No with Sean Connery) and David Niven. Did you research this before taking on this task!!!

Nov 7 - 02:38 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Because the 1954 Casino Royale version with Peter Sellers hasn't been written about! Is this experiment only on the Bond movies that is available for you to watch? Can you watch that movie now?

Nov 7 - 02:47 PM


Ryan Fujitani

The 1967 version is the one with Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress, and I did write about that one, specifically mentioning both actors. The 1954 one you're mentioning is the same one that others have referenced, and it was a television production that aired on CBS, I believe. I had no knowledge of Bond history prior to this project, and the list was given to me. I believe the list was based on Bond feature films that saw theatrical release, so that would explain the exclusion of the 1954 Casino Royale.

Nov 7 - 03:10 PM


Kirk Scroggs

Living Daylights isn't bad but Joe Don Baker has to be the least menacing villain of all time.

Nov 8 - 12:28 PM


Michael Wade

If I missed it, then I apologize. But I didn't hear much about the lack of sexual conquests in this film. AIDS awareness was just starting in this country and the idea that James was going to hop in and out of bed was not going to go over well. I thought they handled it pretty well. And I was so happy to see Dalton play Bond after AVTAK. Moore was an excellent Bond, but the age factor was getting in the way. Dalton played a hard drinking, smoking(!), fast driving Bond well, with enough humor to keep it fun.

Nov 8 - 05:24 PM

jason h.

jason hickey

i couldnt agree more as i am also watching all bonds in a row leading up to QOS.

Nov 9 - 06:42 PM

Alex P.

Alex Palma

I was thinking the same thing about giving them another watch...but as you said ive seen them before but find them mostly forgettable... at least I can say I remember a lot about Never Say never Again and Die Another day. I think films should strive to have something worth remembering in them.

Nov 10 - 08:30 AM

Darren Smith

Darren Smith

christmas was in world is not enough

Nov 11 - 04:28 PM

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